Kenya: Sakaja Opposed to NMS Plan to Ban PSVs From Nairobi CBD

24 November 2020

Nairobi — Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja says the plan by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to ban Public Service Vehicles (PSV) from accessing the Central Business District (CBD) is untimely.

Sakaja, who once filed a case against Governor Mike Sonko over the same matter when he (Sonko) attempted to effect the ban two years ago, has vowed to oppose the new attempt.

"As much as we support the plans to decongest the city, you only ban them when you provide an alternative for the passengers," he said on Tuesday.

While faulting NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi for initiating the decongestion plan in the CBD, Sakaja noted that the move was premised on the assumption that "poor people in Nairobi are the problem".

"Let us avoid being an elitist society that thinks the problem in Nairobi is a poor person, it is not. In fact, if anything private vehicles are causing more congestion in the city than the PSVs," he said.

He accused Badi of acting irrationally and being out of touch with the reality on the ground, citing his constant failure to engage with the leadership of the County and industry stakeholders on better solutions.

"Let us have a human mind and I have told NMS that they must stop behaving as if they can not work with other leaders," he said.

NMS has been working with the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to decongest the CBD by building several bus stations on the outskirts.

In the schedule released by NMS last week on the plans to kick out PSVs from the CBD, officials said a new terminus at the Railways Club will be used by PSVs plying Ngong Road, Lang'ata Road (Kawangware, Kikuyu, Kibera, Lang'ata, Rongai, Kiserian) .

The Fig Tree terminus at Ngara will serve matatus from Waiyaki Way, Uhuru Highway, Kipande and Limuru roads.

PSVs from Mombasa Road (South B, South C, Industrial Area, Imara Daima, Athi River, Kitengela, Machakos) will terminate at a new terminus at the junction of Bunyala Road, which is still under construction.

The Muthurwa terminus is expected to remain as it serves PSVs from Jogoo and Lusaka roads.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has since launched the Commuter Rail Service, which is expected to eventually link to the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system for efficiency.

BRT buses will ferry passengers from railway stations to the city and back.

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